[Country map of Czech Republic]

Czech Republic


Location: Central Europe, southeast of Germany

Map references: Ethnic Groups in Eastern Europe, Europe

total area: 78,703 sq km
land area: 78,645 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries: total 1,880 km, Austria 362 km, Germany 646 km, Poland 658 km, Slovakia 214 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Liechtenstein claims restitution for l,600 square kilometers of Czech territory confiscated from its royal family in 1918; Sudeten German claims for restitution of property confiscated in connection with their expulsion after World War II versus the Czech Republic claims that restitution does not preceed before February 1948 when the Communists seized power; unresolved property issues with Slovakia over redistribution of property of the former Czechoslovak federal government

Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters

Terrain: two main regions: Bohemia in the west, consisting of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; and Moravia in the east, consisting of very hilly country

Natural resources: hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite

Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
meadows and pastures: NA%
forest and woodland: NA%
other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: air and water pollution in areas of northwest Bohemia centered around Zeplica and in northern Moravia around Ostrava present health risks; acid rain damaging forests
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Note: landlocked; strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate is a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe


Population: 10,432,774 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (female 981,918; male 1,030,003)
15-64 years: 68% (female 3,529,411; male 3,530,112)
65 years and over: 13% (female 848,599; male 512,731) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.26% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 13.46 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 10.85 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.54 years
male: 69.87 years
female: 77.41 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.84 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech
note: 300,000 Slovaks declared themselves Czech citizens in 1994

Ethnic divisions: Czech 94.4%, Slovak 3%, Polish 0.6%, German 0.5%, Gypsy 0.3%, Hungarian 0.2%, other 1%

Religions: atheist 39.8%, Roman Catholic 39.2%, Protestant 4.6%, Orthodox 3%, other 13.4%

Languages: Czech, Slovak

Literacy: can read and write
total population: 99%

Labor force: 5.389 million
by occupation: industry 37.9%, agriculture 8.1%, construction 8.8%, communications and other 45.2% (1990)


conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Cechy

Digraph: EZ

Type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Prague

Administrative divisions: 8 regions (kraje, kraj - singular); Jihocesky, Jihomoravsky, Praha, Severocesky, Severomoravsky, Stredocesky, Vychodocesky, Zapadocesky

Independence: 1 January 1993 (from Czechoslovakia)

National holiday: National Liberation Day, 9 May; Founding of the Republic, 28 October

Constitution: ratified 16 December 1992; effective 1 January 1993

Legal system: civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; legal code modified to bring it in line with Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) obligations and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vaclav HAVEL (since 26 January 1993); election last held 26 January 1993 (next to be held NA January 1998); results - Vaclav HAVEL elected by the National Council
head of government: Prime Minister Vaclav KLAUS (since NA June 1992); Deputy Prime Ministers Ivan KOCARNIK, Josef LUX, Jan KALVODA (since NA June 1992)
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president on recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral National Council (Narodni rada)
Senate: elections not yet held; seats (81 total)
Chamber of Deputies: elections last held 5-6 June 1992 (next to be held NA 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA given breakup and realignment of all parliamentary opposition parties since 1992; seats - (200 total) governing coalition: ODS 65, KDS 10, ODA 16, KDU-CSL 15, opposition: CSSD 18, LB 25, KSCM 10, LSU 9, LSNS 5, CMSS 9, SPR-RSC 6, independents 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders:
governing coalition: Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Vaclav KLAUS, chairman; Christian Democratic Party (KDS), Ivan PILIP, chairman; Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA), Jan KALVODA, chairman; Christian Democratic Union/Czech People's Party (KDU-CSL), Josef LUX, chairman
opposition: Czech Social Democrats (CSSD - left opposition), Milos ZEMAN, chairman; Left Bloc (LB - left opposition), Marie STIBOROVA, chairman; Communist Party (KSCM - left opposition), Miroslav GREBENICEK, chairman; Liberal Social Union (LSU - left opposition), Frantisek TRNKA, chairman; Liberal National Social Party (LSNS - center party), Pavel HIRS, chairman; Bohemian-Moravian Center Party (CMSS - center party), Jan KYCER, chairman; Assembly for the Republic (SPR-RSC - right radical) , Miroslav SLADEK, chairman

Other political or pressure groups: Czech-Moravian Chamber of Trade Unions; Civic Movement


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael ZANTOVSKY
chancery: 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 363-6315, 6316
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8540

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Adrian A. BASORA
embassy: Trziste 15, 11801 Prague 1
mailing address: Unit 1330; APO AE 09213-1330
telephone: [42] (2) 2451-0847
FAX: [42] (2) 2451-1001

Flag: two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side (almost identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia)


Overview: The government of the Czech Republic, using successful stabilization policies to bolster its claims to full membership in the western economic community, has reduced inflation to 10%, kept unemployment at 3%, balanced the budget, run trade surpluses, and reoriented exports to the EU since the breakup of the Czechoslovak federation on 1 January 1993. GDP grew 2% in 1994 after stagnating in 1993 and contracting nearly 20% since 1990. Prague's mass privatization program, including its innovative distribution of ownership shares to Czech citizens via 'coupon vouchers,' has made the most rapid progress in Eastern Europe. When coupon shares are distributed in early 1995, 75%-80% of the economy will be in private hands or partially privatized, according to the Czech government. Privatized companies still face major problems in restructuring; the number of annual bankruptcies quadrupled in 1994. In September 1994, Prague repaid $471 million in IMF loans five years ahead of schedule, making the Czech Republic the first East European country to pay off all IMF debts. Despite these outlays, hard-currency reserves in the banking system totaled more than $8.5 billion in October. Standard & Poor's boosted the Republic's credit rating to BBB+ in mid-1994 - up from a BBB rating that was already two steps higher than Hungary's and one step above Greece's rating. Prague forecasts a balanced budget, at least 3% GDP growth, 5% unemployment, and single-digit inflation for 1995. Inflationary pressures - primarily as a result of foreign bank lending to Czech enterprises but perhaps also due to eased currency convertibility controls - are likely to be the most troublesome issues in 1995. Continuing economic recovery in Western Europe should boost Czech exports and production but a substantial increase in prices could erode the Republic's comparative advantage in low wages and exchange rates. Prague already took steps in 1994 to increase control over banking policies to neutralize the impact of foreign inflows on the money supply. Although Czech unemployment is currently the lowest in Central Europe, it will probably increase 1-2 percentage points in 1995 as large state firms go bankrupt or are restructured and service sector growth slows.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $76.5 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 2.2% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $7,350 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10.2% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 3.2% (1994 est.)

revenues: $14 billion
expenditures: $13.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $13.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, minerals, metals, agricultural products (January-November 1994)
partners: Germany 28.7%, Slovakia 15.5%, Austria 7.9%, Italy 6.4%, France 3.2%, Russia 3.2%, Poland 3.1%, UK 2.9%, Netherlands 2.4%, Hungary 2.2%, US 2.1%, Belgium 1.3% (January-June 1994)

Imports: $13.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, raw materials, agricultural products (January-November 1994)
partners: Germany 24.1%, Slovakia 15.6%, Russia 9.8%, Austria 7.6%, Italy 4.9%, France 3.6%, US 3.2%, Netherlands 2.9%, UK 2.8%, Poland 2.7%, Switzerland 2.2%, Belgium 2.0% (January-June 1994)

External debt: $8.7 billion (October 1994)

Industrial production: growth rate 4.9% (January-September 1994)

capacity: 14.470,000 kW
production: 56.3 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 4,842 kWh (1993)

Industries: fuels, ferrous metallurgy, machinery and equipment, coal, motor vehicles, glass, armaments

Agriculture: largely self-sufficient in food production; diversified crop and livestock production, including grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit, hogs, cattle, and poultry; exporter of forest products

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe

Economic aid:
donor: 1.4 million annually to IMF beginning in 1994

Currency: 1 koruna (Kc) = 100 haleru

Exchange rates: koruny (Kcs) per US$1 - 27.762 (January 1995), 28.785 (1994), 29.153 (1993), 28.26 (1992), 29.53 (1991), 17.95 (1990)
note: values before 1993 reflect Czechoslovak exchange rates

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 9,434 km (include 1.520-m broad, 1.435-m standard, and several narrow gauges) (1988)

total: 55,890 km (1988)
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Inland waterways: NA km; the Elbe (Labe) is the principal river

Pipelines: natural gas 5,400 km

Ports: Decin, Prague, Usti nad Labem

Merchant marine:
total: 14 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 181,646 GRT/282,296 DWT
ships by type: bulk 5, cargo 9

total: 116
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
with paved runways under 914 m: 5
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 10
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 32
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 41


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM, FM, shortwave
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, Civil Defense, Railroad Units

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,753,301; males fit for military service 2,095,661; males reach military age (18) annually 91,177 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: 27 billion koruny, NA% of GNP (1994 est.); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results